The legalization of drugs is a common topic in America today. Many believe that drug use should be legalized, but I completely disagree. Drugs are frequently used today and they are illegal, the consequences that would grow if they were made legal would be more than this country can take on. In my opinion, three main factors contribute to my opinion opposing legalizing drugs: health issues, the effects it would have on the criminal justice system, and the increase in availability of drugs.
According to the National Vital Statistics Reports, 19,102 deaths from drug-induced causes occurred in 1999. The use of drugs can lead to death, which alone is a factor to keep them illegal. The use of illicit drugs should remain illegal due to their intoxicating effects on the brain, their potential for abuse, and the harm they cause not only on the user but on society as a whole. If drugs were made legal then it would cause a threat to the good of society. More people would engage in drug use, resulting in more abusers, more of the public "high", and in the end more deaths would occur from the use of drugs.
Another factor making legalization of drugs absurd is the effects it would have on the criminal justice system. The U.S. has very strict laws on the use and distribution of illicit drugs. Even though drugs are still widely available and used, the "War on Drugs" has kept many Americans away from drug use. Many drug users commit crimes while under the influence of drugs, trying to get drugs, or to get money to buy drugs. According to the Bureau of Criminal Statistics, 11.5% of violent crimes and 24.4% of property crimes were committed in order to get money for drugs. By legalizing illicit drugs it would only increase the amount of crimes committed. Another interesting statistic is that 28% of victims of violence reported that the offender was using drugs, alone or in combination with alcohol.